THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
While Cradle Mountain visitors will casually cross paths with wombats and wallabies, one famously fierce furry is more elusive, according to [email protected]dle owner Wade Anthony. “Tasmanian devils are classified as an endangered species due to the contagious disease known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD),” he says. “This has caused a significant decline in the wild population of up to 80 per cent and, combined with their shy, mysterious nature, this makes them very hard to observe in the wild.”
The [email protected]dle sanctuary, at the entrance to the national park, is the only specialised Tasmanian devil facility in the world that allows an insight into the conservation of the threatened species.
“The sanctuary is a conservation facility for the Tasmanian devil and two closely related species, the spotted-tail and eastern quoll,” Wade says. “Joining one of our guided tours will provide an up-close experience with and an understanding around the threats that confront these beautiful animals.”
While it’s open all day, the best time to visit is after the sun sets. “Our animals are primarily nocturnal and are out displaying their typical night behaviours. Combine this with feeding time and it is quite a spectacular sight.” Book ahead to join the devils at dinner. “The Dine with the Devil tour caters for smaller groups and includes some of Tasmania’s finest wine and produce while heading behind the scenes and coming faceto-face with some of our residents. You can even roast a marshmallow on a campfire.”
Go to devilsatcradle.com Photo: Laura Helle